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The Huawei’s Periwinkle Evolution And the Power of Resilience

The Huawei’s Periwinkle Evolution And the Power of Resilience

The periwinkle is a low level animal which adds only marginal value at normal state. But when you scratch its surface, it will release a precious gem, the cryolite.  The accomplishment of Huawei in overcoming many Western sanctions including sanctions on Cadence (the world’s leading computer aided design tool for making advanced integraed circuits), sanctions on ASML ( the world’s leading chip manufacturing maker, especially for advanced lithography), sanctions on operating systems (Google’s Android designkits), sanctions on 5G module (Qualcumm’s 5G modules), sanctions on smart-chips (Nvidia’s GPU chips), sanctions on advanced converters (my former employer, Analog Devices, not allowed to ship its most advanced converters), etc, is a story of corporate and national resilience.

In the 1880s as the United States was clipping the economy of the UK, then the world’s largest economy, the US used many technology innovations to accelerate away from any impediment Britain was bringing. History is about to repeat as Huawei has shown that it has an internal mechanism to build some of the world’s most advanced technologies.

If indeed Huawei made these things (it is possible they stocked some before sanctions), and they reveal that indeed they created them (event coming on Sept 25), a new dimension would be added in the global economy. Simply, sanctions fail, most times! The other day, the New York Times  concluded that sanctions against Russia have also failed as they’re making more missiles and new species of drones which they did not have in Feb 2022.


The US government had placed Huawei on its trade blacklist in 2019 over national security concerns.   The sanctions have impacted Huawei’s business globally, and its revenue fell by nearly a third in 2021.  The Trump administration began restricting semiconductor sales to Huawei in 2019. The Biden administration expanded those controls, cutting Huawei’s access to both U.S. consumers and suppliers. 

The US’s initial measures targeting Huawei were driven by concerns that the tech giant could use its presence in the world’s telecommunications networks to spy for the Chinese government. 

The sanctions have required US suppliers to obtain a special license to ship goods to Huawei. The restrictions were further tightened in 2020. 

The Mate 60 Pro

Huawei’s latest smartphone, theMate 60 Pro, allegedly built largely on Chinese components, has brought a new basis of competition in the game of smartphones, including a satellite feature which has the form factor, weight, usability, size and other basic things we see in most modern terrestrial smartphones . This could indicate that Huawei has found a solution to the US’ microchip embargo and blockade. You will read this Huawei experience in many books on corporare resilience. 

Indeed, Huawei knew that without innovation, it would have failed. And it went for innovation, and can now live into the future. Call it the Periwinkle Evolution of Huawei.

Comment on Feed

Comment 1: We don’t have the details yet as to whether the technologies powering Huawei’s latest smartphone are all homegrown. But that’s a small part of the wide message, the big part? We from Africa always pick the wrong lessons from this sort of piece. We will spend time arguing whether the US is superior to China, or whether Huawei is superior to Apple. These points are useless when it comes to things that matter.

The key message is that after the sanctions from the US and others, Huawei and Chinese went to work, they didn’t migrate to western countries or relocate Huawei to the US. This is the most important message for every African, else keep sweating and arguing pointless things.

When your back is against the wall and there’s misgovernance at scale, what do you do? Answer for yourselves!

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We want to be the first continent to be developed from afar, the grandest of delusions, it has never happened, and it will never be the case.

We even relocate startups just to get funded…

My ResponseActually, whether it is homegrown is important. Why? If they stocked chips that could last them for the next 5 years (not sure that is possible though as those will become stale), the scale of their ascension will be calibrated. But if they open the veil and everything is homegrown, that is another level.

On Africans moving abroad,  that is a fair debate to have. But  I do not blame anyone who does. The real deal is what the home nations do with those in the homeland since they have forgotten those abroad. When I was in Johns Hopkins, most countries knew their citizens were doing PhDs in the school; Nigeria did not even know I existed. And when they graduated, most were invited to return home.  From Singapore to Brazil, the paths were clear. Where renewing my ordinary Nigerian passport is a hussle, how do you make that decision?

Comment 2: I am happy for Huawei and China but sad for Africa. The Chinese took on the challenge of the US tariffs and sanctions head on and they are gradually coming up with astounding results. Unfortunately, Africans routinely refuse to take responsibility for any of its challenges. African educated elites will runaway to Western countries on account of lack of electricity, insecurity, unemployment and all manner of reasons instead of taking those challenges head on.

In similar vein, African Leaders will keep running from Africa-France summit to Africa-China summit to Africa-Russia summit to Africa-US summit in search of solutions to its underdevelopment instead of confronting the demons of underdevelopment.

The lessons that I would like us to draw from the Huawei debacle is that no one has the monopoly of wisdom. None of the challenges confronting us in Africa is beyond us to solve. But that’s, if and only if, we will take responsibility and take those challenges head on.
Are we ready or we will run away, as usual?

Apple iPhone 15 Having A Moment

Apple continues to thrive: “Apple’s bet on higher-end phones appears to be paying off. As iPhone 15 pre-orders began Friday, demand pushed expected delivery dates on the Pro and Pro Max models into October and November, Bloomberg reports. The rush of orders suggests customers are still willing to pay top dollar for the latest features, underscoring Apple’s strategy of saving its biggest updates for the Pro and Pro Max. Smartphone sales have stagnated worldwide, which has also pushed firms to lean on price increases: The Pro Max starts at $1,199, which is $100 more than last year. Apple said Friday that it will push a software updatefor the iPhone 12 in France after testing flagged higher-than-acceptable radiation levels. Apple says the results stem from “a specific testing protocol used by French regulators” and that the phones, which were pulled from shelves, are safe.”


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